WESTFIELD, NJ – Westfield dads and their daughters are invited to spend an evening out together at the Recreation Department’s annual Daddy-Daughter Dance to be held Sunday March 22 at L’Affaire in Mountainside.

Registration is available online at www.westfieldnj.gov/recreation, by mail or in person at the department office in the municipal building, 425 East Broad Street. Admission purchased by March 6 is $50 per person, or $60 each from March 7-16. Registration for the event ends March 16.

The dance is open to girls from first through sixth grades and their fathers. Participants must be Westfield residents.

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Last year, more than 400 fathers and daughters came out to twirl, sashay and boogie together. Since the dance started 15 years ago, Traci Kastner, program coordinator for the recreation department, has watched it blossom into a town tradition.

“When I started, it was a very small thing. We had it in the community room,” she said.

Festivities run from 5 p.  to 8 p.m. and include a hot buffet dinner and dessert plus music provided by local husband-and-wife DJs The Spinners. Crafts and tattoos will also be on hand to keep young guests busy when they are not frolicking on the dance floor with friends or dad.

Kastner is bringing in a photo screen so the girls can take candid pictures and print them on the spot. Girls who attend the dance will also receive a 5 X 7 keepsake portrait with their dad.

While dads come to the dance sporting suits or even tuxedos, some fathers prefer more casual jacket and pants. The girls, however, tend to glam it up and wear dresses.

Westfield dad Barry Jeckell has already bought tickets for him and his daughter, Vivian, a fifth grader at Franklin Elementary School. Father and daughter attend each year with friends. Jeckell loves seeing Vivian dressed up “with a corsage and all the frills.”

“Once we’re there, it’s a big social thing for the girls so it’s not long before they’re all on the dance floor or exploring other parts of the event, and it’s a lot of fun to stand back and watch them simply enjoying themselves,” Jeckell said.

“And I’ll admit that the slow dances with her are pretty special,” he added. “It’s cliché but she’s growing up so fast, and it’s nice to have a moment to hold her close and appreciate who she is right now – while she’ll still be seen in public with me!”

Kastner and another staffer will be at the dance to check in partygoers and enjoy watching the dads and daughters.

“My favorite thing to watch is the dads and daughters slow dancing,” she said. “The dads even bond. It’s such a sweet event.”

For additional information, contact the recreation department at 908-789-4080.